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The Madera Tribune

Lawsuit says BMW, MUSD negligent in teen death

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webmaster | 05/09/14

The family of a Madera teenager who died after being trapped inside her family’s car have filed a lawsuit against BMW and Madera Unified School District, claiming the company knew the dangers of a feature that ultimately caused her death and the district was negligent in its handling of the situation.

Graciela Martinez was found dead last September from heat stroke inside her brother’s used 1997 BMW 328i sedan parked at Madera South High School.

Madera Police Department investigators said there were signs Martinez tried to escape the car, but couldn’t due to a BMW-designed anti-theft feature known as the “double-locking system,” which ensures once doors are locked from the outside they cannot be opened from the inside.

The car’s horn wouldn’t work without its key in the ignition, investigators added...


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